On 26-27 October 2010, “Sky and Space” Intergroup of the European Parliament and Business Bridge Europe (BBE), organized a high level conference on “A new space policy for Europe” at the European Parlament in Brussels.
Political decision makers, companies executives and the representatives of civil society had the opportunity to get informed and debate of the political and financial stakes as well as the fantastic industrial and service opportunities inducted by the new “European” status of the Space policy of the EU.
The Lisbon Treaty, entered into force on 1st December 2009, has given a new and doubtless decisive impetus to the European Space Policy, to its programmes and its ambitions in the exploitation and exploration of space. It also reallocates the competences between the Institutions of the European Union (EU), providing especially the European Parliament with a crucial role.
In raising to the status of « European policy », the joint initiatives conducted so far by the Twenty Seven in the space domain, such as Galileo for the satellites navigation and GMES for earth observation and security, the Lisbon Treaty bestows indeed on the European Union (EU) new responsibilities which are so many challenges to stand up to in order to insure the role that Europe may and must play in Space.
Scientific, economic, industrial and social stakes, critical for Europe, are linked to the fine development of those ambitions. Article 189 of the Treaty bearing on the operating of the European Union invites the EU to work out a Space Policy “in order to promote scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of its policies”. The European Commission has indeed entered this policy in the heart of the “Europe 2020 Strategy for the smart lasting and inclusive growth” in integrating it within its flagship initiative “A new industrial policy for the globalisation era”.
Opening the Conference:
- Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament
- Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council
- Antonio Tajani, Vice-president of the European Commission
- Mercedes Bresso, President of the European Committee of the Regions
- Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency
NEREUS-President, Mr. Alain Bénéteau was among the invited speakers on the third plenary session: “Financing: Public credits, private investments, commercial space” on 26 October.
Mr. Bénéteau presented NEREUS as a European network which can establish a link between regions and the European institutions, positioning itself as a key player in European space policy. Mr. Bénéteau highlighted that every region can benefit from the use of space technologies and invited other European regions to become members of NEREUS.
Mr. Bénéteau pointed out that, against the backdrop of the financial crisis, space should be seen as a key priority in the European budget. This would reflect the significant impact of space technology as an essential driver of the objectives of the EU2020 strategy.
In this context, he noted the delay in the publication of the European Commission’s Communication on the future orientation of European space policy. Mr. Bénéteau expressed the anticipation with which all stakeholders in space technology awaited this document.
Finally, the NEREUS president stressed the importance of regions as the most effective administrative level in advancing the space agenda in Europe. Regions are in a position to express citizens’ needs, liaising with the EU institutions and establishing a dialogue between providers and end users of space technology.
In this regard, Mr. Bénéteau mentioned how the PEGASE and the DORIS_net projects, in which NEREUS is involved were formulated to these ends.
Mr Bénéteau’s speech in French is available to download here.